Sri Lanka in bid to boost income tax payers

Oct 28, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s revenue authority is holding a ‘national tax week’ where the public can interact with their staff in the first week of November in a bid to get more people to pay tax without fear an official said. “We want to stop the fear and uncertainty (biya har saker) in the minds of the public about paying tax,” commissioner general of Sri Lanka’s Inland Revenue Department Mallika Samarasekera told reporters.

“We want to give the message that they will be received and treated with respect. Internally we have educated all our staff to create a change in attitude.

“We want to get the message to the public that paying taxes is an act worthy of respect and praise (gaurawaneeyai, prashansaneeyai). We are committed to providing a friendly service.”

The agency will have exhibitions and open days in Colombo and key cities from November 01 to 08 when a budget for 2013 would be presented.

Samarasekera said seminars will be held at district level from November 01. Handbills will be distributed. People could ask questions and ask for advice. A ‘one stop shop’ will also allow the public to open a tax file.

Sri Lanka, a country of 20 million people had 897,000 income tax payers, including 5